North America is finally getting 10x plus egg drop rate in descend dungeons, but why is this such a big deal and why are people so Gung-Ho about it? Before I go into more detail, I should explain what plus eggs are and why they have become so valuable. Plus Eggs contribute bonus stats to your monster’s health, attack, and recovery values and is a way to further augment the strength of your cards beyond level 99. Every non-evolution and enhance material drop has a small chance of dropping with a +1 and you need a total of 297 to max out a monster. This is a lot of plus eggs and is part of the reason why PAD is such a grindy game.
- HP plus eggs contribute +10 health (max +990)
- ATK plus eggs contribute +5 attack (max +495)
- RCU plus eggs contribute +3 recovery (max +297)
Plus eggs not only increase the power of your monsters, but also increase the likelyhood of you having a large friend base and best friend tokens as +297 monsters appear higher up on the friend list selection screen. Initially, PAD provided no enhanced way to effectively farm plus eggs and it was simply a matter of playing dungeons over and over again in the vain attempt of having a plus egg drop. We eventually received Star Vault, 5x technicals, and 3x normals as faster and more efficient methods of farming and each has their pros and cons.
Farming plus eggs can be broadly categorized into several categories:
- +’s / run completed
- +’s / stamina used
- +’s / experience gained per stamina usage
- and to a certain extent, the time required
Star Vault is a 30 stamina dungeon that has 5 floors which all have a reasonably high chance of dropping with a plus. This proved to be the most time efficient method as luxury-push button teams (using actives to kill the floor and not combo to save time) could easily breeze through the 5 floors at incredible speeds. Using the data from Setsu, he farmed 4,063 plus eggs in 2,854 runs over the course of a year. This translates into 1.42 pluses per run completed and 21.07 stamina per plus obtained. This seems encouraging, but you have to farm Star Vault within an hourly window and forces you to refill stamina to fully benefit from the limited 60 minutes your are given. For myself, this would roughly translate into (1.42*13) 18.46 pluses per stone at my 260 stamina pool.
By comparison, 5x technical dungeons are much slower to complete as there are more floors to clear and not every floor has a chance to drop an egg. Your two options are to either run Mechdragon’s Massive Fortress (on any difficulty) or the 4th floor of Forbidden Tower (FT4) on Mondays. By playing on Mondays when the 1.5x drop rate takes effect, you significantly increase your chances of receiving a plus egg and these dungeons do not drop pendras (who cannot come with a plus). Another downside of playing technicals is that is quite costly from a stamina point of view and the experience gained is almost trivial. At this point in time, hardly anyone runs technicals as the rates are low and clearing is slow. The only time I play technicals is to dump 50 stamina in Mechdragon’s Massive Fortress when real life gets too busy.
Farming plus eggs during 3x normals is very efficient from both a stamina used and experienced gained point of view. However, it is becoming tiresome to play because it requires you to clear 10 floors and push button teams cannot be abused as easily. The time investment is very high and even though it is efficient, you will get bored after even just an hour of farming (mostly because it will result in less pluses per hour compared to Star Vault). I prefer to play 3x normals over 5x technicals as I gain the collateral bonus of ranking up more often. The 2 most noteworthy dungeons to play are Ocean of Heaven (OoH) and King of Gods (KoG) due to the highest rate of plus eggs and highest rank exp / stamina ratio respectively.
Now going back to the original question of why the hype around 10x descends? The simple answer is that it is superior to all the other methods in every category with perhaps the exception (descend depending) of experience / stamina used. Every non-evolution and enhance material drop will come with a plus and maximizes your time and stamina usage. In addition, many of these descends are old and have been power creeped to the point that many different teams can easily clear the dungeon along with certain push button teams. For example, The Goddess Descended drops 3-4 pluses per run and is very quick and easy to clear. Assuming a rate of 4 pluses per run (50 stamina), I could acquire ~21 per stone usage in a much shorter time than it takes me to complete 12 Star Vaults runs. Descends range in terms of time efficiency, pluses dropped, and difficulty in clearing and you need to pick and choose the ones you can clear at a 100% rate.
Do keep in mind that each descend costs 50 stamina and you will feel tempted to refill stamina often. When deciding if it is worthwhile to refill stamina, you need to take into account the value of a magic stone. Questions you should ask are:
- How much stamina am I refilling?
- How many plus eggs can I expect per stone?
- Does the value of pluses from 5 stones outweigh the potential from a Rare Egg Machine Roll?
- What is my level of IAP (in-app purchasing, aka purchasing stones with real life money)?
Naturally, players with a higher rank or well developed boxes will find more value from refilling their stamina and it comes down to personal judgement of whether it is worthwhile. You should not feel pressured to mass refill just because of the hype surrounding 10x descends as PAD is an individual game and should be played according to your terms and goals.
For myself, I plan to try and maximize my pluses per stone usage and will try to play the descends with at least 4+’s per run. Time spent clearing is somewhat important, but I do not plan to excessively refill as I do wish to pull in the upcoming 4x GFE godfest in a few days. The team pictured above may be my go to team for quick and mindless clearing as I can automatically trigger Dark Metatron’s leader skill through resetting my health to 1 with Durga’s active and cruising through the descend with orb changers.
A preemptive Happy New Year to all my fellow Puzzle and Dragoners and may the Skyfalls be with you!